What do women want in bed? It’s an important question to ask because, if you’re in a heterosexual relationship, it shows you want to increase your partner’s pleasure. It also acknowledges the fact that, for some, unsolicited volunteering of what she wants in the bedroom doesn’t always come naturally. True, some people will let you know exactly what they like in bed, but others have a harder time expressing their needs, which can make the general idea of women wanting sex or the whole let-me-do-that-thing-you-love exchange a bit more difficult.
In some ways this is, if not natural, at least normal, considering what social scripts say about gender roles in the bedroom. Men traditionally took the lead when it comes to accessible sexual narratives (oh, hi, porn). But that doesn’t change the fact that a woman in bed has a strong opinion about what she wants — and these things don’t always align with her partner’s.
In the absence of mind-reading, there are some universal things men can do to help please women in the bedroom. From improving communication, finding the right tempo, and incorporating sex toys there are many areas in which you can do better. So what are the most pleasurable things to do to a woman? Here are five things women want in bed, according to sex experts.
1. Talk About What They Like And Plan Ahead
A simple lack of communication in the bedroom can balloon into big-time problems. Sex may be a largely physical experience, but there’s an important verbal component that’s often overlooked. Actually sitting down and talking to your partner about what they like, what they dislike, and what they might be curious about can be a transformative experience. Of course, we know it’s not always easy to get that ball rolling, so maybe open a bottle of wine or take a couple of tokes off some legal cannabis before launching in. You might also turn on a show that you know has some steamy sex scenes. However you go about it, what’s important is that it demonstrates effort, intent, and a desire to please. “It’s important to make sex a priority,” sex therapist Dr. Chris Donaghue, previously told Fatherly. “It’s important to articulate what you want to be working on.”
2. Embrace Variety
Monotony is a terrible thing to associate with sex. In fact, it’s often what people say drove them, in part, into affairs. “People in long-term marriages, or long-term partnerships, can sometimes become a little less curious about their partner. They can stop being adventurous, or stop growing in their erotic lives,” Dr. Tammy Nelson, sex therapist and author of When You’re the One Who Cheats told Fatherly. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to avoid falling into that trap. Role-play is a pretty popular bedroom stunt. Talking dirty is another one. And it doesn’t even have to get that involved. Mixing up the positions, even the places you have sex can help reignite diminishing bedroom flames. Remain cognizant of that fact, and take active steps to avoid falling into too much of a “routine.”
3. Forget About Your Penis (For a Bit)
One of the most pleasurable things to do to a woman in bed might be to forget about your penis — at least for a bit. Studies have shown that generosity has a positive effect on marriage. Small gestures can go a long way in the context of a long-term relationship, and this certainly applies to the bedroom as well. Simply put, some selflessness in the bedroom can be a major turn-on for women wanting sex. Besides, research suggests that ladies are much more likely to orgasm when sex involves a variety of activities besides vaginal intercourse. Pay attention to what she wants and put effort into pleasing her. Digital stimulation, oral sex, and other kinds of sexual play are much more likely to deliver her an orgasm than more traditional sex.
4. Find The Right Pace And Rhythm
Experts estimate that it takes women around 20 minutes to become fully aroused. Men, meanwhile, can typically hit that mark in a fraction of the time. Of course, these estimates should be applied in general, as not everyone is going to abide by that specific timeline. But the point is, different individuals will gravitate toward different ways of initiating sex. The hard-and-fast approach might work for someone who is easily aroused, but it’s not going to work for everyone. Remember, that vaginal tissue is delicate, and can respond negatively to the aggressive touch when not fully lubricated. We get it. It’s hard to remain chill when dealing with a full-blown erection. But it’s important not to get too excited too fast, especially when getting handsy with your partner. Keep the conversation going throughout the sexual encounter. Keep tabs on what your partner likes, and ask before moving on to the next step.
5. Don’t Forget About Sex Toys
A study published in the Journal of Sex Research found that using a vibrator can lead to multiple orgasms in almost half of all female users. The researchers also found that a majority of orgasms triggered by vibrator stimulation were more intense than those brought about the old-fashioned way. That’s a pretty solid sell on the vibrator jam, especially when you compare these findings to some other statistics floating around.
According to the book The Case of the Female Orgasm, penned by American philosopher of biology Elisabeth Lloyd, just 25 percent of women orgasm consistently during vaginal intercourse. Given what we know about mechanized stimulation, it seems as though throwing a vibrator into the mix during sex might help even the playing field. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen as often as it should. Women tend to worry about how partners will react to accessories in the bedroom. So, when you’re answering the question, “What do women want?,” consider batteries and bring a sex toy into the experience. It will take the pressure off her and prove that you’ve dodged the toxic pit of male insecurity. Win-win.
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